July 20th, 2014
09:52 AM ET
4 months ago

The ‘Inside Politics’ Forecast: Adelson’s $100 million dollar bet?

CNN's John King and other top political reporters empty out their notebooks each Sunday on "Inside Politics" to reveal five things that will be in the headlines in the days, weeks and months ahead.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Big 2014 midterm races and calculations, and a 2016 wrinkle or two, filled a trip around our Inside Politics table to close this Sunday's program.

1. A GOP mega-donor mulls a big 2014 play

If you had a big, high-stakes project, think an extra $1 million a day might help?

Well, leading GOP sources focused on 2014 Senate races say such a boost is being contemplated by GOP megadonor Sheledon Adelson, the Las Vegas casino mogul.

Adelson has spent some time of late studying the map, and receiving briefings on state-by-state strategy and candidates. And he is promising to help Republicans target a dozen seats now held by Democrats, with the ultimate goal of picking up at least six - and the Senate majority. The GOP also is defending seats in Georgia and Kentucky.

So watch in the days and weeks ahead to see how much of a Senate play Adelson is prepared to make. One of the sources involved said it could be as much as $100 million. With 107 days to the election from Sunday, that would be an eye-popping bet.

2. Not your father's Chamber of Commerce

The Chamber of Commerce is already a big player in the 2014 battle, and CNN’s Peter Hamby discussed his in-depth reporting on just how much of a boost the business group's work has been for Republicans.

This aggressive political play outside of the capital is a big shift for the Chamber, and a huge factor in the establishment vs. tea party tug-of-war playing out in the GOP.

“The Chamber of Commerce has really moved away from being just a lobbying organization in DC to being one of the more preeminent political players in campaigns– rivaling American Crossroads,” said Hamby. “So that’s a big deal in American politics.”

3. Exhibit A: the Georgia Senate GOP runoff

Molly Ball of The Atlantic teed up a textbook example of the Chamber's 2014 strategy: next week's GOP Senate runoff in Georgia.

The Chamber backs GOP Rep. Jack Kingston over businessman David Perdue.

It was Perdue who won the most votes in the first round, with Kingston second. But the runoff is needed because neither cracked 50 percent, and Molly reports the Chamber is confident its investment in Kingston will bear fruit Tuesday.

“Although Perdue came in first in the first round, Kingston looks like he is up in the runoff,” said Ball. “If he does win the runoff, it will be another victory for the Chamber of Commerce, which has backed Kingston very aggressively.”

The Chamber of Commerce pushing for Kingston on Twitter this week:

4. Gillespie disappoints some GOP watchers

GOP leaders cheered when veteran operative Ed Gillespie jumped into the Virginia Senate race, believing it would give them a chance, albeit a long shot, to defeat Democratic Sen. Mark Warner. Even a competitive race forces Democrats to spread precious resources into the state.

Gillespie's decision was welcomed because of his deep resume: longtime Capitol Hill aide, former Republican National Committee chairman, former top Bush White House adviser, former top Mitt Romney adviser. Add all that up, and the thinking was: smarty guy, with a deeper than deep fund-raising reservoir.

Now there's no GOP panic in Virginia, but Politico's Maggie Haberman shared behind-the-scenes reporting on a development that surprised, and disappointed, some GOPers closely watching the race.

“Ed Gillespie, who is running for Senate in Virginia, has been a pretty effective fundraiser but he was outraised by Scott Brown,” said Haberman.

“He has good cash on hand, but the fact that he got $1.9 million and Scott Brown got $2.34, $2.35 million was not lost on some folks.”

Ed Gillespie’s tweet from this month wishing one of his very famous former bosses a happy birthday:

5. Yes, Virginia you ARE a quadrennial battleground now

Jonathan Martin of The New York Times reminded us once reliably red Virginia is now a presidential battleground - and the 2014 cycle offers a chance for presidential prospects to test the waters, and make some important friends.

President Obama carried the state in 2008 and 2012, and it’s hard to map out a GOP White House win without Virginia.

So Jonathan reports that Sen. Rand Paul is looking to deepen his ties in the state.

"On Tuesday, Rand Paul is going to be in Arlington, sitting down with two candidates who ran in Virginia last year—Pete Snyder and Ken Cuccinelli,” said Martin.

And Jonathan also tells us, the aforementioned Ed Gillespie is soon to get some help from another 2016 prospect: Indiana Republican Gov. Mike Pence.

soundoff (188 Responses)
  1. Tampa Tim

    Money is speech, corporations are people, and fertilized eggs are human, children are not? That is the new Republican Party. Ever wonder why the Baggers are being rejected by the majority of Americans?

    July 20, 2014 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  2. John

    Here we all go again the party wolves or the top 1% throwing money everywhere to get their influence out there. This is the whole problem they try to divide America who is red, who is blue. They are two parties, but in reality they are both just alike show me your wallet and how much cash can you bring to the table and I will push your agenda. I think it shows just how easy politicians are bought off everyday by the super-wealthy. I own a bunch of casinos and I am somebody I bring happiness by taking peoples money and using that money to build more happiness. These super-wealthy are in their own world and we are minions that crawl to them like slavery. Wake up America, it doesn't matter how you vote, they are all the same a bunch of crooks trying to find the easy way of life. I am a politician I don't have to work, just shake hands, be nice, and vote the way the wealth wants me to so I can retire in my mega-mansion and be catered to all my life, and use the small people to do my biding through back stabbing and looking pretty for camera.

    July 20, 2014 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  3. scarf

    Another mega-donor in favor, not of free speech, but tax-free speech.

    July 20, 2014 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  4. ynotblue

    Looks like corruption likes corruption.

    July 20, 2014 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  5. BP4

    ..GOP vote buying spree is just beginning. Come ON people...........DONT FALL FOR IT.......

    July 20, 2014 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  6. Robert N. constant

    In the United States today there are about 9.7 million households that have net assets of over one million dollars, not counting the value of their homes. These people are the core of the Republican Party. At the center of that core are a number of billionaires who contribute millions to the Republican Party . They know that Republicans being elected mean that the tax rate on the rich and on corporations will be lower, with the tax burden will be switched to the middle classes. Their million dollar contributions are simply an investment
    Because these rich are a minority, they have targeted "wedge groups" to get people to vote against their own economic interests. These wedge groups include the Republican "Southern Strategy" that harnesses the anti minority and anti Hispanic vote. Also targeted are the National Gun Association people who have been propagandized to believe they should oppose any form of gun control such as not allowing the insane to purchase guns.
    In 2000 Karl Rove brought in the Christian Fundamentalist Evangelicals who deny evolution and want the public schools to teach Creationism. They also have supported anti freedom of choice for women's reproductive rights.
    Throw in the Chamber of Commerce who oppose Immigration Rights because they are the ones employing millions of undocumented workers and don't want that to change, and the people who believe the South should hve won the Civil War, and you are on your way to understanding the Republican "Southern Strategy" coalition.

    July 20, 2014 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    I'll be waiting for the article about the unions gazillion dollar gamble.

    I've never seen any union give 100 million. But to be even close they'd have to give BILLIONS. (100 million per member). Adelson is ONE person, a union is hundreds of thousands. Trying to equate "how much Unions" give to megadonors is a false eqivalency. Unions don't even give as much as corporations, or chambers of commerce.

    July 20, 2014 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  8. Rosslaw

    And the People's Republic of China, with which Adelson has very good relations given that his largest casino in in Macoa, will certainly enjoy the access to the Whitehouse that an Adelson driven republican win would give one of the singularly ugliest trolls in the gambling industry unlimited access. The Triads might have the chance to sleep in the Lincoln Room as well.

    July 20, 2014 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  9. Peter

    The behavior or Republican and Democrat politicians is almost exactly the same in terms of lies, buying influence and corruption.

    Continually astonished at the amount of team fanboys of both paries on this (and other) boards who think otherwise and seem to have amnesia about the historical behavior of their own party.

    July 20, 2014 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  10. TheSadTruth

    how much more evidence do you need to realize that the GOP is simply a bought and paid for political party?

    and yet, the bobbleheads continue to follow this group of corrupt criminals like empty headed puppy dogs. Just a few hot button issues and you have an army of willing brainless slaves.

    July 20, 2014 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  11. Gunderson

    Whazzat?,
    Now when did any of you Smart Cookies let anyone buy your Vote? The Peasants have been bought for many years. Don't believe me? Just look how well everything is working after 100 years. The Liberals have been buying your vote and you don't even know it !!! You want to Re-Invent the Soviet Union? So far you have been doing a bang up job.

    July 20, 2014 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  12. DocHollywood

    Why put your money trying to help America and it's citizens when you can u se it to line your own pockets. If he's willing to invest 107 million, you can bet he's expecting a hell of a lot more in return. Another true 'patriot'....lol

    July 20, 2014 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  13. jb1963

    A vote for a republican is a vote to destroy the USA.

    July 20, 2014 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  14. Nodacks

    Most Americans don't even know the Chamber of Commerce is just another name for Republican.

    July 20, 2014 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  15. Zach

    Thank you current Supreme Court. You will be remembered as having done more to subvert the democratic process than any other citizens for the entirety of the existence of America. I truly hope that religious people are right and that there is an afterlife, if only for the remote chance that you will be forced to pay for your crimes against humanity.

    Maybe I'll live long enough to see the extremists die off, and the republican party go back to being the party of privacy, personal freedoms, and economic stability it used to be. The democrats are no prize by any measure, but its sad that the extremists have taken over a party that used to be something to be proud of.

    July 20, 2014 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  16. Regressive

    Lucky two, that is really dispicable

    July 20, 2014 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  17. aaron

    These guys invest a lot of money in attack ads. What's unbelievable is the percentage of the population that believes anything they told, the majority of which is untrue or just a snipet of the whole story. And, they then vote based on that nonsense. If the American electorate would research the facts and vote intelligently, i.e. not vote for those who are acting against their own best interests, the billionaires would be throwing their money away trying to impose their "values" on the rest of the country.

    July 20, 2014 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  18. smithdp

    I wonder if the new Senators will wear "Adelson" and "Koch Brothers" decals on their suits?

    July 20, 2014 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  19. Jim Jimson

    The GOP has finally realized their goal of a government for sale to the highest bidder.

    July 20, 2014 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    The supreme court is totally deaf to the power of media.

    July 20, 2014 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  21. Brenda Niemann

    This is why money must be banned from politics. This corrupt billionaire is picking out which Republicans to buy, very much like choosing a horse for the derby. He is making a joke of our political system. Thumbing his nose in our faces and laughing. Basically stating that his money and his one choice is more important than our millions of voices and millions of votes. Who ever this vile creature picks...is an enemy to the people and our voting rights. MAKE sure you vote against any Republican the monster chooses to make your master.

    July 20, 2014 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  22. t3chn0ph0b3

    If moderates don't get out and vote, this ploy will succeed.

    July 20, 2014 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  23. judith

    Adelson is the poster boy for what's wrong with America.

    July 20, 2014 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  24. Sam M

    Actually it's a smart bet. Odds are a Repub will be the next Prez, and history says so. Since the end of WW II a pattern of Dem-Repub-Dem-Repub has continued as the general population grows tired of the party in the W.H. Eisenhower, Kennedy, Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Clinton, Bush II, Obama. Sure there were a few one term exceptions, but the pattern is clear – and to the naysayers, this time is not different. Go ahead, bet against history, but don't bet the farm.

    July 20, 2014 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  25. nc_mike

    Nahhhh, American oligarchs expect NOTHING in return. Nope! Not on either side.

    July 20, 2014 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
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